Tuesday, September 13, 2011
ECONOMY - September 15, 2011
About 300 years ago, about the beginning of the Age of Reason, as the economy of EU was making the transition from the Imperial mode to what was called the Free Market, the economy was defined as one of need, when even the emerging industrial revolution could not provide the basic needs of life for even the advancing population of the new industrial countries. Life under the remains of serfdom remained marginal for many of those working on the land. For the new working class it was actually more secure, though barely so. The social and economic thinking of the day saw no alternative to the greedy and rapacious market and death from hunger was not unknown. Still, it seemed to many as the only way, despite the optimistic thinking that was experimenting with the idea of cooperation as an acceptable alternative to the whipping that was competition, often called cutthroat. Today, at least in the industrial world, it is clear that an economic model built on a standard work life of 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year over 45 years produces enough to provide a living wage for all those willing and able to do it, with the increase in productivity giving more than enough for that and an ample surplus to provide rewards for those who genuinely exceed the average to a notable degree. Still, in almost all the world, the Free Market does not provide jobs for all willing and able to meet the need and joblessness of eager workers rears its head frequently, even constantly. And the economic profession is apparently unable to find a way to use the prospective labor surplus to supply manifest needs in the infrastructure, the schools, health provision and other places, like clean air and water, where only governmental initiative can provide what would be a benefit in the lives of all the people. The paid propaganda of the continuing greedy classes has convinced most of the people that would lead to the Gulag, via the workings of the now defunct Soviet Union.